The key role of nutrition in helping to manage Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), one of the most common forms of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), was confirmed by new scientific evidence presented at the 2014 Hill’s Global Symposium.
The two-day symposium – which took place in Prague on April 23 and 24 – took Feline Lower Urinary Tract health as its theme, with the role of stress as a risk factor for FIC as a particular focus.
According to organisers, speakers at the event discussed a range of topics relating to FLUTD, such as problem behaviours induced by stress and anxiety and how certain ingredients and nutrients can be used to help manage feline stress.
The symposium also marked the launch of Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Feline Urinary Stress in Europe, and delegates heard results of a randomised, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial into the efficacy of this newly launched product.
Presented by Jody Lulich, co-director of the Minnesota Urolith Center at the University of Minnesota, the results showed that this food, in both its wet and dry formulation, reduced the recurrence of FLUDT signs.
Dr Lulich explained: ”This study shows that specially designed nutrition has a positive impact on reducing the recurrence of urinary signs in cats with FIC. We recommend that it should be used together with environmental enrichment and with stress reduction strategies.”
Andy Sparkes, veterinary director of the International Society of Feline Medicine, added: “This was a well-conducted study and will contribute Grade 1 evidence when it is published. The difference in the cats fed with the Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare was significant and gives confidence that it can make a difference.”
Dr Lulich also presented a double-blinded study which confirmed the role of the new prescription diet in dissolving struvite uroliths in as little as seven days. He said: “The results of this study indicate that dietary dissolution is an effective, safe and rapid method of eradicating sterile struvite uroliths from the urinary bladders of cats. The use of a prevention-dissolution food eliminates the need to transition cats to long-term prevention food.”
Hein Meyer, director of professional and veterinary affairs at Hill’s, said: “FIC is a frustrating condition, causing distress to owners and threatening the welfare of cats. We are delighted that these new studies confirm the key role of nutrition, in the management of FIC and FLUTD and in the stress and anxiety which play a role in its development.”